What Is a Class 101 College Planning Franchise?
Low-investment college planning franchise helps high school students save time and money
Since its founding in 1997, Class 101 has helped thousands of high school students get into the best colleges for the best price. We believe every high school student should have a positive college experience and that families should, and can, pay less out of their own pockets for college. Millions of high school students enroll as college freshmen each fall. Too often, they miss out on tens of thousands of dollars of scholarship and grant money, and they end up unhappy and unsatisfied with their college experience.
Through our one-on-one college planning sessions with students, ACT and SAT preparation classes, seminars and organized campus visits, Class 101 offers a steady stream of income for franchisees. Demand for personalized college planning, like paying for college tuition, will continue to rise. The average college tuition and fee bill is 40% higher in 2015-16 at public four-year institutions than it was in 2005-06, and it’s 26% higher in the private four-year sector, according to the College Board. More than 40 million Americans are saddled with student loan debt, collectively owing a staggering $1.3 trillion, and that figure is growing at the terrifying rate of nearly $3,000 per second, according to Experian.
“Teenagers are less likely to listen to their parents when it comes to college planning. From parents, it’s nagging. From us, it’s advice. Parents then know they have a support system; they can contact us at any step of the way. They can have peace of mind that the entire college preparation process is being overseen by somebody their child is going to listen to. We get the best from these kids. We affirm them, challenge them and teach them. We are right beside them to mitigate the cost and complexity of the college preparation process, all while instilling them with confidence,” says Founder and CEO Tom Pabin.
Our franchise is thriving; our owners experienced record growth in 2015. We are now registered, where necessary, to offer franchises in more than 40 states. Our 11th franchise location is opening in Wilmington, North Carolina, in early 2016, with plans for additional franchises to open throughout the year.
Class 101 fills a need not met by the current high school counseling system
The typical high school counseling experience is rushed and impersonal. A Public Agenda report, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that 48 percent of respondents felt that their school counselor treated them like “just another face in the crowd.” In fact, if a student is able to get individual time with a counselor to focus on the college process, it is often less than 45 minutes throughout the entire time they are enrolled in high school. Class 101 offers a much-needed solution, working one-on-one with students and giving each student 30-50 hours of individual planning time.
The college preparation process can be a daunting ordeal, and parents and guidance counselors are unable to devote the time needed to ensure its success. With Class 101, parents have peace of mind from knowing a professional college planner is guiding their child. Most Class 101 franchisees are former educators, parents, business people or admissions counselors, and they are extremely passionate about helping young people.
There is more to Class 101 than improving ACT scores and or helping kids write the perfect college entrance essay. Our No. 1 criteria for a Class 101 franchisee is having the heart for the business. This is a relationship business, and our franchisees love working with and mentoring teenagers.
Because of that personal relationship, our college planning advisors are uniquely positioned to help students create what we at Class 101 call “separators,” those standout skills or talents that help high school seniors stand out among their peers. One student’s separator might be a community service project, another’s might be a hobby-turned-business.
We take those separators and help students use them to shine among the thousands of applications that admissions counselors receive from potential freshmen. We help give them a competitive edge.
“College admissions counselors might not remember a student’s name, but they’ll remember that unique story — that essay. At Class 101, we help our kids double their chances of getting into the right school and earning scholarships and aid,” says Founder and CEO Tom Pabin.
The average Class 101 student earns more than $200,000 in scholarships
The average Class 101 student applies to 10 schools and earns $200,000 in scholarships and financial aid, while the typical high school student gets accepted into just two or three schools and earns $20,000 in scholarships and aid. Our students also improve their ACT scores by 3 points after working with a Class 101 professional. The return is enormous; schools are much more willing to grant scholarship funds to kids with outstanding ACT scores, solid GPAs, well-written essays and resumes that help them stand out from the crowd.
“The secret most parents don’t understand is that there is a school for every student, and there are many schools that have money to give out,” Tom says. “Eighty percent of the students who go to college pick the wrong school or miss out on large amounts of scholarships they could easily get if they just understood the process better and had more substantial guidance earlier. We founded Class 101 to address the issue.”
With college costs rising at a rate of 6% above the rate of inflation (long-term), the time invested in hiring a Class 101 counselor offers an incredibly attractive ROI. The typical transfer rate for college freshmen is 30% or so, but Class 101 students transfer less than 5% of the time. Why? Because we work one-on-one with students to ensure they have laid the groundwork to ensure a successful college career.
Bring Class 101 to your community
Class 101 has helped students gain access to hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarship money. With statistics showing the rising cost of not going to college (millennials with a bachelor’s degree make an average of $45,500 annually, compared to high school graduates making $28,800 annually, according to Pew Research Center data), a college education is more valuable than ever. We have plans to open 100 locations by 2020, and we welcome the opportunity to speak with potential owners about bringing this unique and valuable service to their community.